Sitting It Out? Or Pushed Out? Women Are Leaving the Labor Force in Record Numbers

Rand reports that in addition to long-standing challenges, such as securing child care and combating pay disparities, is the “she-cession,” the economic downturn that has hit women workers measurably harder than men. Occupations and industries with higher shares of women workers lost more jobs. Meanwhile, school and day care closures appear to have put a further burden on those with children. Indeed, the she-cession and its consequences make clear just how much policy has failed to keep up with women’s progress. In January, among workers aged 18 to 55, there were 30.1 million men and 29.1 million women who had at least one child in their household. (These are not necessarily their children, but children who live with them.) For men in the labor force, the participation rate dropped 4 points, from 88 percent to around 84 percent, before starting to recover. For women, participation fell from 72 percent to 67 percent—a drop of 5 points, and the recovery was slower. Rates for both go down again in August and September, when many districts started the school year. Ominously, the drop is much larger among women. #workforce #covid-19

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